Would You Rather Be First or Right?

The Dannemora prison escape has been a fascinating story, and Friday evening, with one escapee gunned down by police and the other on the run, it was a big news night.

There were many wild tales from the North Country woods, many of them brought to us by eager reporters on Twitter. Unfortunately, some of them were not exactly true, like this one from Time Warner Cable News reporter Geoff Redick.

Exciting? Yes. True? No.

But, Rob, Geoff Redick says right there that “TWO police sources” told him this story.

Oh, really — what police sources? To be so confident, it must have been two very high ranking people with direct knowledge of what’s going on — like officials from the command post.

Mr. Redick went on to tap this one out:

Later in the evening, this all turned out to be bunk. Whatever — stop distracting me with all those annoying facts!

TV news has always been obsessed with getting stories first, even if only by a few minutes. Social media has taken it to the next level; it used to be about who could get it on the air first, and now it’s who can tweet it first.

I’d say this is progress. There’s never been a faster way to get things wrong.

4 thoughts on “Would You Rather Be First or Right?

  1. If TWCN was around when we got out of college, all those people who couldn’t find work in TV would have been able to get jobs.

    Look, I know what it’s like to be starting out in a tiny market, and that’s what Capital News 9 and its sister stations are like: news operations in the smallest markets.

    What they do have going for them is the 24 hour thing. I’m surprised that in Albany one of the affiliates hasn’t figured out how to take them on. Maybe they have thought about it and can’t make the numbers work; after all, TWCN is subsidized by subscriber fees. If they relied on ad dollars alone, they’d be off the air tomorrow.

  2. Let me get this right; this “reporter” spent the better part of an entire day “reporting” on something that turned out to be entirely false, then proceeded to congratulate himself on an outstanding piece of work? I never fail to be astounded at what passes for “journalism” in 2015. Sigh…

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